We’re fortunate to have a wide selection of dog friendly beaches in Dorset, making it the perfect destination for a holiday with your four-legged friend. Enjoy a comfortable stay at our award-winning holiday park, before heading out to explore the spectacular scenery and the idyllic beaches, for which the region is famed.
Dorset is home to some of the most scenic beaches in the country and many of the best are within easy reach of our caravan and camping park near Poole. Some are dog friendly year-round, while others have restrictions during busier times of year.
Here we list our top pick of dog friendly beaches in Dorset to check out during your stay at South Lytchett Manor.
(Distance from South Lytchett Manor – 3 miles)
Hamworthy Park beach is located within walking distance of our caravan and camping park and dog friendly year-round. It boasts a convenient location on the Northern shore of Poole Harbour, with easy access to town the centre and wonderful views towards Brownsea Island and the Purbeck Hills.
Dogs are allowed off-lead on the sand and shingle beach, which provides ample space for them to burn off some energy. You’ll see dogs of all shapes and sizes playing ball games and enjoying a well-earned swim!
Behind the beach there is an area of parkland with plenty to keep the family entertained. There’s a café serving a selection of light lunches, as well as a children’s play area and seasonal paddling pool.
Dog restrictions: Hamworthy Beach is dog friendly all year. Dogs are allowed off lead on the beach but must be kept on a lead on the promenade. Dogs are not permitted in the play park or paddling pool area.
Facilities: There are lots of facilities at Hamworthy beach including refreshments, play park, outdoor gym equipment and paddling pool. It’s also possible to hire a beach hut for the day.
Parking: Pay and display car parking is available at Hamworthy Park Surface Car Park. The number of spaces are limited, so you will need to arrive early to secure a spot.
(Distance from South Lytchett Manor – 14 miles)
Lulworth Cove is one of the most iconic beaches in Dorset and a must visit for many visitors to the area. It is dog friendly year-round with no lead restrictions and easy access to a number of scenic coastal walks.
The cove is a horseshoe shape, which means it relatively sheltered, even on breezy days. In the height of the summer, the water is a beautiful turquoise colour and popular with swimmers, kayakers and snorkellers.
Most of the beach is shingle with small areas of sand and a number of rockpools are exposed at low tide. It’s the ideal place to take your four-legged friend for a paddle or play.
Dog restrictions: Lulworth Cove is dog friendly year-round.
Facilities: Cafés, pubs, gift shops, ice cream, fish and chips, outdoor adventure activities, boat trips.
Parking: There is a large pay and display car park just moments from the beach. If you’re feeling adventurous you could park at Durdle Door and make the scenic walk along the coast path. It takes around 30 minutes, although the walk back can take longer as it’s all up hill!
(Distance from South Lytchett Manor – 15 miles)
Hengistbury Head is well worth a visit during your holiday at South Lytchett Manor. The rugged beach, is popular year-round, thanks to the breath-taking scenery and abundant wildlife. There are plenty of walks to enjoy around the headland and lots of habitats to explore. We personally recommend the 3.5-mile loop, which incorporates the beach, woodland, grassland and heathland.
Our favourite time to visit is on a cold and blustery day. There’s something quite special about wrapping up warm for a bracing beach walk while the dogs run and play. Well-behaved dogs are permitted off-lead on the beach, though restrictions are in place in some areas of the nature reserve to protect nesting birds and rare plants. Owners are requested to read all signage and keep dogs under close control.
Only assistance dogs are allowed in the Visitor’s Centre, but there are shady spots and water bowls outside.
Dog restrictions: Dogs are permitted off lead on the beach. Leads are required in some areas of the nature reserve – please see the walkers map for more information.
Facilities: There’s a newly refurbished Visitor Centre, public toilets and café for refreshments. If you fancy venturing to nearby Mudeford Sandbank you can hop on the dog friendly land train, which offers a 15 minutes ride for a couple of pounds.
Parking: There is a large pay and display car park next to the beach. Please note the gates are locked between 10pm and 5am.
(Distance from South Lytchett Manor – 11 miles)
Worbarrow Bay is one of our favourite dog friendly beaches on the Jurassic Coast and a must visit during a camping or caravan holiday in Dorset. It is situated in a secluded spot in between Lulworth Cove and Kimmeridge and is the perfect location for a beach day with your four-legged friend.
The best way to reach the Worbarrow Bay is from the car park at Tyneham Village – a historic settlement that has been left untouched since it was abandoned during the Second World War. From here it’s a scenic walk along a 1-mile track, to the beautiful beach, where your canine companion can enjoy a swim.
The shingle beach is much quieter than others in the area and seldom busy even during the school holidays. There is little shade and no facilities, so you will need to bring a parasol or pup tent if you plan on staying for a couple of hours.
From the beach you can join the South West Coast Path and explore more of the area by foot. The paths are fairly steep and will require a good level of fitness.
Please note – Worbarrow Bay is situated on MOD land. As such, it is not accessible when training exercises are taking place. Always check opening times before heading out to avoid disappointment.
Dog restrictions: Dog friendly year-round. Dogs are allowed off lead.
Facilities: There are no facilities on the beach itself. You will need to bring your own refreshments and entertainment. There are public toilets close to the car park.
Parking: Parking is available at the end of a narrow track, next to Tyneham Village. There is no charge but there is a donation box, with money going towards the upkeep of the village and toilets. Make sure you check what time the gate is locked when you arrive.
(Distance from South Lytchett Manor – 8 miles)
If you’d prefer to take your four-legged friend to a sandy beach, then Branksome Chine might be the perfect option. There’s plenty of room for dogs to run and play at this family favourite, while you throw a ball or paddle in the shallows.
Unlike other beaches on this list, Branksome Chine is not dog friendly year-round and some restrictions are in place. Dogs are only permitted in the autumn and winter, making it the ideal choice if you’re holidaying out of season.
The beach is flanked by a paved promenade, offering a flat and level walk with sea views (dogs must be kept on a lead). Drinking water is available from various taps, should all the exercise make your four-legged friend thirsty!
Dog restrictions: Some seasonal restrictions are in place. Branksome Chine beach is dog friendly from 1st October to 30th April each year.
Facilities: There are lots of facilities at Branksome Chine beach. Visitors can enjoy a bar, restaurant, toilets and shop.
Parking: Pay and display parking is available at Branksome Chine surface car park and on Beach Road.
(Distance from South Lytchett Manor – 18 miles – shorter via Sandbanks ferry)
We highly recommend a visit to the beaches of Studland Bay if you’re exploring the Isle of Purbeck during your getaway at South Lytchett Manor. Dogs are welcome year-round and there are plenty of dog friendly facilities to enjoy.
After a couple of hours playing on the beach, treat yourself to something to eat at the Knoll Beach Café. Well-behaved dogs are permitted in the outside seating area, where you’ll find shelter and water bowls for keeping your four-legged friend cool.
Visitors are kindly reminded that the dunes and heathland behind the beach are part of a nature reserve. They are home to ticks, nesting birds and adders, so please keep your dogs under close control.
Dog restrictions: Dogs are welcome at Studland Bay year-round, but must be kept on a 2m (or less) lead between 1st May and 30th September.
Facilities: Cafe’s, beach huts and watersports hire.
Parking: Pay and display car parking available at Knoll beach, middle beach and south beach. National Trust members park free.
(Distance from South Lytchett Manor – 10 miles)
Sandbanks beach is located on an exclusive peninsula, close to some of the most expensive real estate in the UK. It has been awarded Blue Flag status for more than 30 years and is recognised as being one of the country’s cleanest beaches.
There are vast areas of golden sand backed by family friendly facilities for visitors to enjoy. The beach is popular with water sports enthusiasts and children love the crazy golf course and outdoor play area.
The western End next to Haven Point (by the chain ferry) is dog friendly year-round. Seasonal restrictions are in place on the main beach.
Dog restrictions: The western end of the beach is dog friendly year-round. No dogs are allowed on the main beach between May and the end of September.
Facilities: There are plenty of facilities at Sandbanks beach, including crazy golf course, children’s play park, putting green, water sports hire, volley ball pitch, toilets, showers and shops.
Parking: There are more than 500 spaces are available at Sandbanks car park, though these do fill u quickly in the height of the season.
We look forward to welcoming you and your four-legged friend to our dog friendly holiday park in Dorset. We have a range of dog facilities on-site, including a dedicated doggy shower, off lead exercise area and plenty scenic walks nearby.
What a fabulous place! Our first outing in our new campervan to try it out, the campsite and facilities are... thewardrobem, Nov 2023
The best campsite I've ever stayed at, usually large complexes lose a bit of what camping is about, but not... Colin, May 2023
Great stay, very clean excellent facilities. Bus into Poole 15 mins nice shops and great walk by the Quay. Definitely... Janet, Nov 2023